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Stuart N. Brotman work with graduate student James Zhang and senior Maggie Akins to examine Super Bowl LIII's ads.

A faculty member and a team of students from UT’s College of Communication and Information will be providing real-time analysis of Super Bowl LIII’s commercials for WLVT on Sunday.

Viewers will be able to see them at work on the station’s Facebook page and during the 10 p.m. coverage on WBXX, the CW Knoxville.

The team has been preparing and investigating the ads that were released early. They have been trained in the Adam Brown Social Media Command Center in the College of Communication and Information, which uses Salesforce Marketing Cloud Social Studio software to analyze Twitter messages and trends.

“CCI students are very fortunate to have the resources of the Adam Brown Social Media Command Center available for this unique experience,” said Stuart N. Brotman, the Howard Distinguished Endowed Professor of Media Management and Law and the Beaman Professor of Journalism and Electronic Media. “They can access its Social Studio software remotely on their laptops from WVLT. Their training and skill in real-time social media analysis during the Super Bowl will enrich the viewing experience of the vast television audience tuning in.”

“It’s a social study of one of the most hyped pop culture events,” said Alexandria Southerland, a master’s student in the School of Journalism and Electronic Media.

Graduate student James Zhang examines popular words associated with the Super Bowl.
Zhang examines popular words associated with the Super Bowl.

The broadcast will include interviews with the team’s students, who also include PhD student James Zhang and advertising and public relations senior Maggie Akins.

Each of the students will focus on a specific subject during the analysis. Zhang will look at international reactions, Southerland will analyze the impact of ads using celebrities, and Akins will focus the top ads based on Twitter activity.

Since many advertisers have already released their ads, the team has a head start on what social media is saying.

Southerland expects the top celebrity ads will include the Stella Artois commercial featuring Jeff Bridges and Sarah Jessica Parker, and Pepsi’s feature of icons Cardi B, Lil Jon, and Steve Carrell.

Brotman and another team of students provided a similar service for WVLT during the November 2016 presidential election and the November 2018 Tennessee gubernatorial and senatorial election. He said the student engagement at the station was so positive that WVLT extended this invitation to another major television event for which live social media analysis adds to the viewing experience.

The Adam Brown Center was created with a gift from college alumnus Adam Brown, now executive strategist for Salesforce, a San Francisco-based company that pioneered cloud computing and is the world’s number one customer relationship management platform. The center uses the same technology that Fortune 100 companies worldwide use to publish, engage, and analyze their social media marketing activities.


Amy Blakely (865-974-5034,